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...Odetta Holmes, professionally known simply as Odetta, was a folk singer-songwriter and guitarist. Besides being dubbed “The first lady of the folk song,” her efforts during the civil rights movement also earned her the title “the voice...

Odetta’s One Grain of Sand

Matthew Frye Jacobson

Matthew Frye Jacobson teaches American Studies and African American Studies at Yale University, and is the co-founder of the Public Humanities program there. He has written extensively on a range of cultural forms, including film, television, literature, the arts, sports, music, and comedy. In addition to his five books on aspects of race in US culture, he has conducted several documentary, curatorial, and artistic projects, including The Historian’s Eye, a web-based documentary project, and his forthcoming film, A Long Way from Home: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2019

33 1/3 Books

...When 20-year-old Odetta Holmes—classically trained as a vocalist and poised to become “the next Marian Anderson”—veered away from both opera and musical theater in favor of performing politically charged field hollers, prison songs, work...